Tallinn prefers concert hall and conference center plan for Linnahall

Mihhail Kõlvart
Mihhail Kõlvart Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

Mayor of Tallinn, Mihhail Kõlvart, said the city government prefered to build a concert hall-conference center inside Linnahall but the establishment and need for an opera hall in the same building must be clarified with the Ministry of Culture.

Deputy Mayor of Tallinn, Aivar Riisalu, said last week that neither the city nor he personally supports plans for opera hall to be built in Linnahall. 

But speaking on Thursday, Kõlvart told ERR, that Riisalu is not opposed to an opera hall, but that the city's priorities had to be protected first and the first wish of the city was to establish a concert hall and conference center.

"We will not give up on this project. But I see both the opportunity and the need to work with the Ministry of Culture, to discuss what the opportunities for cooperation could be, and I believe that cooperation is actually possible," he said.

Kõlvart said it is not right to compare plans for building a new national opera house and the conference center, because both projects are necessary and it would be right to realize them through cooperation. Therefore, the state and Tallinn should find the right formula for cooperation.

"Of course, this does not mean that the city of Tallinn will abandon the construction of the conference center, but rather the question of whether and how synergies can be achieved. But three questions need to be answered: What is a possible spatial solution, an operating formula, and of course how to finance this project," he said.

The Mayor said analysis and proper plans are needed but did not rule out that both projects could be possible.

Speaking about the cost of the project, Kõlvart said the conference center alone could be worth €120 million. But, a multifunctional opera hall complex could cost as much as €240 million. Combining the two would be a first for Estonia, in terms of scale, he said.

Currently, Tallinn is seeking permission from the European Commission to support the concert hall and conference center project with public funding. At the same time, the capital is also interested in negotiating with the Ministry of Culture on what form of cooperation they could take.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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